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Lucky kid gets the Ghostbusters gift all fans crave

A Ghostbusters super fan battling a lung disease gets the ultimate gift on his seventh birthday: a visit from the Iowa Ghostbusters complete with a certificate of recruitment and some ectoplasm.

Iowa Ghostbusters members Andrew Smith (left) and Matt Bousman teach Braeden Rios how to bust some heads (in a spiritual sense, of course) during a surprise visit.

Philip Clark/Iowa Ghostbusters

Think back to when you were young and your parents threw you a party based on your favorite movie.

The house was decorated with streamers featuring your favorite characters. You and your friends huddled around the TV watching your favorite movie for the 5,000th time. Your folks even made a giant cake in the shape of the star character's head.

The family and friends of Braeden Rios, a 7-year-old Ghostbusters fan from Clinton, Iowa, who suffers from a lung disease called bronchial malacia, planted just such a memory in his mind on Tuesday. To make things really special, members of the Iowa Ghostbusters cosplay fan group joined the celebration.

"He's been a Ghostbusters fan since he was 3 years old," Braeden's mother Michelle Evers said. "We've bought everything off eBay that's Ghostbusters, everything imaginable."

This year Braeden asked for a new Proton Pack from the "Ghostbusters" reboot heading to theaters on July 15. His mom said she scoured the Web for one and came across the Iowa Ghostbusters Facebook page.

After learning about Braeden's endless enthusiasm for the paranormal investigators and eliminators, Smith and fellow founding member Matt Bousman decided to swing by the birthday party in a custom made Ecto-1 station wagon with all of their best equipment. They asked Braeden to join them in wrangling some focused, non-terminal, repeating phantasms or Class Five full roaming vapors.

Michelle said Smith and Bousman drove up to the house blaring Ray Parker, Jr.'s iconic "Ghostbusters" theme song. Braeden nearly jumped out of his own Ghostbusters jumpsuit as he ran up to meet them, she said. They awarded Braeden with an official membership certificate and some ectoplasm samples.

"The sirens were on and everything," Braeden said. "It was super cool."

Smith said Braeden's reaction made them feel super cool as well.

"His enthusiasm made us feel like super heroes," Smith said. "It was really cool to come full circle. Growing up loving Ghostbusters since we were his age and being able to see that excitement in him was an awesome experience."

Correction, 2:25 p.m. PT: The original version of this story got the last name of the lucky kid wrong. It's Rios.